The San Sebastian Film Festival has withdrawn the accreditation of U.S.-born French filmmaker Eugène Green for refusing to wear a mask.
According to the Spanish festival, Green refused five requests for him to don a mask at last night’s premiere of his film Atarrabi Et Mikelats and he was ultimately asked to leave the auditorium. A fine from the local authorities could follow.
A statement from the festival read, “On Wednesday evening, 23rd, at the Principe 9 movie theater, at the screening of Atarrabi et Mikelats, from the Zinemira section, an unpleasant incident occurred.
“The director of the film, Eugène Green, was asked up to five times by the Festival staff to put on the mask and to put it on correctly. Finally, due to his lack of collaboration, the Festival management asked him to leave the theater. Two Basque Police agents informed him that an administrative complaint will be processed, for which he could receive a fine.
“The Festival has suspended the accreditation of Eugène Green, who has lost his status as a guest of the Festival, for his lack of respect for the measures agreed with the health authorities and for the Festival staff and for putting the health of the spectators and the film crew at risk during and after the screening.”
The Q&A for the film continued with actors Lukas Hiriart and Saia Hiriart.
San Sebastian, like Venice, has strict coronavirus protocols in place during its festival. Arthouse filmmaker Green, who has had movies at festivals including London, Locarno and Portland, becomes the first known filmmaker to be expelled for flouting those rules.
We have reached out to Green’s reps for comment.